For about a year now the buzzword (or, more accurately, buzz-phrase) I’ve heard most often in the blogging community is this: Content is King. I do believe that this is a great notion, but I also think that a lot of people throw around that phrase because it makes them sound smart and trendy.
The basic idea that “Content is King” isn’t hard to understand – your content is what brings readers to your site and what will keep them coming back for more. But I’d like to suggest that this is just the start.
Good Content versus Good New Content
Every day, I’m amazed at the sheer amount of awesome content published online. Sure, there’s a lot of not-so-good content too, but I’m constantly falling behind with my blog reading and let’s not even start to talk about the number of great videos and podcasts out there that just don’t fit into my day.
So, there’s a lot of good content. But what about good new content. New ideas – original thoughts in any niche – are more rarely published online and you have to fight through the noise to find these posts, videos, and podcasts. “Good” is highly subjective, but “new” is more objective. Part of the “Content is King” argument, in my opinion, is that you need to have new, original thoughts that really make a difference in your niche, not just regurgitate news or share opinions on what other people are doing.
The king is a leader, not a follower. If your content really is king, it needs to be something new that people can get behind, not content that “follows.” At least some of the time.
The Royal Family and Court
Behind every good king (or any leader), there’s a whole host of other people working to make the kingdom run smoothly. If you have killer content, that’s awesome…but a king alone isn’t good enough. Do you have “support staff” in place to help your king? If not, your content is just pretending to be king, but doesn’t have any more power than a three-year-old in a Burger King crown.
The specifics for your royal family and court – the support for your content – depends on your niche and needs as a blogger, but it typically boils down to three different categories: networking, promotional efforts, and community. The idea that “if you build it, they will come” is a myth. Support your content if you want it to truly be king.
The King is on Your Money
The man who is king had better get used to being in the public eye – he’s everywhere, even on the money. That’s what I find “Content is King” to really mean above all. Your content is what will first introduce most of your readers to your blog. A blog is more than just content – it’s community and products and design and maybe even more, depending on your niche. But every post you write is potentially the first introduction a reader has to your site, the same way a king is often the representative of an entire nationality.
What is important to remember is just how important it is that your content represents your blog well. Every piece of content you create should come back to the main thesis of your blog, the entire point you’re blogging. That way, a new reader who comes to your site gets a good taste as to what they can expect from you, no matter which post is the first one they read.